Best Road Cycling Routes in Exmoor - Outdoors Magic

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Best Road Cycling Routes in Exmoor

We tasked local cyclist and bike mechanic Mark Gibbs with finding the five best routes in Exmoor - and he didn't disappoint

Well-known and historically held as a richly wild part of the UK, Exmoor maintains its wide-open, roam-ready, unspoiled moorlands under the protection of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. While it is one of England’s smaller national parks, this fervently green region is extremely diverse; it’s densely packed with flora, fauna, and most importantly, flowy roads with minimal traffic – perfect for road cyclists in search of awe-inspiring views.

As part of our series in collaboration with komoot, the route planning app for runners, bikers, and long-distance hikers, we’ve sought to find you the best adventures on offer in Exmoor. We’ve already covered the best walks in Exmoor and the best off-road cycles in Exmoor. In this instalment, we reached out to local expert Mark Gibbs and asked him to plan out his top 5 favourite road rides. Mark is quite the authority in Exmoor, he started racing competitively on road and MTB at 15 years old and still races over three decades later. For the last 11, he’s lived and toured these moors while running his own repair shop. If you’re thinking of putting tire to tarmac in Exmoor, be sure to get yourself a tune-up from the man with the route plans at

The Best Road Cycling Routes in Exmoor

  1. Peaceful Back Lanes
  2. Classic Loop from Minehead
  3. Views of Bristol Channel
  4. The Depths of Exmoor
  5. The Holy Grail Circuit

Peaceful Back Lanes

This one is a gentle very quiet back lane spin through a few lovely villages with spectacular views across to Dunkery Beacon and Porlock bay.

Accessible to anyone but still a fairly meaty ride if you take it slow, this route gives you a chance to take in the views while still avoiding all the really big climbs in the area. Be sure to stop at the charming Porlock weir for a drink at the Lower Ship pub.

Classic Loop from Minehead

This one is a really nice medium distance 50km loop that starts and finishes in Minehead.

Expect steady gradients which eventually reach exciting descents. The middle section is just non-stop undulating fun with far reaching views of Exmoor and stunning valleys and there’s a great quick run in to Dunster with the chance to stop and get a coffee or a beer.


Views of the Bristol Channel

This is a great road ride that takes in some cracking climbs and earns you some awesome views across the channel towards its end. It starts off in Alcombe, following Alcombe road in fact, which leads out of town into the long stretches between the little villages of Exmoor. Passing through Dunster, you’ll remain parallel with River Avill for a good while, winding south west and gradually climbing through the open moors.

Things get especially remote as you swing around to the north. These roads are quiet and contain some super long straights, good for really powering up or letting loose on the way down. Just don’t forget to look up at the view – a clear day will let you see all the way across the Bristol channel to the Gower Peninsula and the hills of Wales.

Photo: Exmoor National Park Authority

The Depths of Exmoor

This one is longer and a bit harder, but it really reaches down into lesser explored south side of the national park. On the back end, you’ll find more long steady climbs which lead to open moorland views across as far as Dartmoor and the coast. But before you get there, you’ll follow River Exe like a faithful greyhound all the way south. Winding alongside it is a joy, the roads are quiet and the curves are relaxing and fun to follow.

After heading through an awesome, steeply-sided valley and passing Park Wood, you’ll finally break away from the river and head west through Dulverton, which is an excellent spot for coffee and cake (so is Withypool if you’d rather stop later). From here, its a wide loop back into the boonies with some serious climbs and rewarding descents.


Holy Grail Circuit

The name might sound a little extreme, but it’s just true: this is the Holly grail of Exmoor road rides.

Taking in the some of the most scenic roads in the UK, The Toll Road from Porlock snakes its way through woodland at a steady 5% incline, which is certainly manageable but requires a bit of endurance. Then, it opens out to moorland and the most incredible rolling road to the top of Countisbury Hill with breathtaking views over the turquoise water of Lynmouth bay.

A rapid decent leads to another stunning steady climb back onto open moorland which will roll you towards home. Again lots of chances to stop and admire the views or consume cake and coffee. It’s a tough one but utterly stunning.

Komoot: Your Route to Adventure

Komoot is an app that lets you find, plan, and share adventures with the easy route planner. Driven by a desire to explore, and powered by the outdoor community’s recommendations, it’s komoot’s mission to inspire great adventures making them accessible to all.

New to komoot? For a free regional bundle (worth £8.99) simply follow this link to and create your free account today.

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